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"Why is my toe numb?"


A few months ago, I was working at a job where I was on my feet all day in very uncomfortable shoes. I started getting calluses on my toes. This didn't bother me too much at first, but now my big toe is numb on my left foot. I read that there's such thing as a compressed nerve, but I can't find any information on what to do about it.


A toe becoming numb is concerning symptom. While often a simple condition, I would recommend that you have this evaluated by your primary care physician. Numbness in the toe is likely caused by a injury to the nerve that feeds to toe.

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A likely cause of this is the nerve is being compressed. Nerves can be compressed in any location, starting in the back where it comes out of the spinal cord and ending right in the foot. It is most likely that it is being compressed in the foot if the toe is the only location affected. This compression can be caused by many causes, but inflammation and changes in the bones are the most common. This can happen because of poor fitting shoes or other trauma. Shoe orthotics or inserts are often required. A podiatrist could be helpful if your primary doctor feels this is appropriate. The other cause to consider is that there is not compression of the nerve but nerve injury. This is known as neuropathy and actually more common. This can happen throughout the body, but in many cases the longest nerves (going to the feet) are first effected. The most common cause of this is diabetes. I would recommend you see your primary care doctor. This needs to be evaluated for a cause.

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